Aline Santos, Brand Manager and Head of Diversity and Equity Inclusion at Unilever, was named Marketing Leader of the Year by The Marketing Society.
Santos has been recognized for leading Unilever’s global marketing capabilities effortlessly and with inspiration throughout the pandemic, as well as for challenging gender stereotypes and ethnic prejudices throughout her career.
Santos has been described as leading from the heart, embodying what marketing is, creating change, challenging the status quo, demanding perceptions to be changed, and championing both the art of marketing and diversity in her breast.
The award recognizes inspiring individuals who have consistently demonstrated how marketers can have a positive and profound effect on society and pave the way for the industry.
Kathleen Saxton, Executive Vice President and General Manager of MediaLink, who was a judge for the awards, commented: “Navigating the sea of change for a great brand like Unilever over the past 12 months has been an incredible achievement in itself, but Aline also led the charge of challenging gender stereotypes and ethnic prejudices, inspiring many marketers across the globe when this came to the fore following the events of 2020.
“I have been a great admirer for many years, as she is someone whose energy, engaging personality and passion have brought about real change. Aline is a force of nature and a well-deserved winner.”
There were two highly recommended nominees: Richie Mehta, Executive Director, School of Marketing; and Conrad Bird, director of campaigns and marketing, The Cabinet Office.
Also on the shortlist are Kemi Anthony, Director of Marketing and Communications, Ikea; Kevin McNair, Marketing Director, KP Snacks; Natalie Truong, Marketing Director, Mercer (Asia); and Emma Botton, Director of Marketing Communications, Tesco.
Past recipients of the Marketing Leader Award include Sara Bennison of Nationwide, Mitch Oliver of Mars, Mark Evans of Direct Line, Barnaby Dawe of Just Eat and Alistair Macrow of McDonald’s.